I seem to be unable to think about getting extra money in terms of actually spending it. When I get money from surveys or whatever in my Paypal, I think "Oh boy! I can put this in my emergency fund!" When I got all the money from DealBarbie and friends, I thought "Oh boy! I can pay off my credit card!"
And now when I am thinking about this potential new job (which I was up doing last night not sleeping even though I was exhausted) I think "Oh boy! How much can I put in my 403(b)!"
I think that the crucial point I have come to is that I accept the amount of money I live on now as perfectly fine. Previously, when I had my old second job, Boyfriend and I would do things like go to Olive Garden three times in one week. (Yes, we did.) And when that job went under, and the free flowing extra income was suddenly gone, it was pretty painful to adjust to the new amounts. At first I was hardly saving anything. Then I put $100 a month in my savings account. Then I put $100 a month in my Roth. Then I put $150 a month in my savings. Then I put $50 a month in my gifts account. Then I put more towards credit cards. Then I put $125 a month in the Roth.
Now, out of a take home of about $1850 a month, I spend about $550 on bills and rent, and budget about $600 for everything else.
Where does that extra $700 go? Well, at least $200 goes towards savings, and the rest goes towards the student loan, the credit cards, the Roth, or more towards savings. I think that this represents a pretty major shift in my basic financial thinking - that saving money and paying down debt really is the major item in my budget, instead of an afterthought. I think that this has started to pay off nicely in my net worth - while I haven't done as well as I could, my net worth has gone up a little over $3,000 since I started blogging in June. This is partially because I am working in both directions - paying off debt and accumulating more assets. Starting CashDuck was a bit of a drain on the ol' net worth but I should be putting it back quite soon.
So I think it's a pretty good thing that the first thing I thought of when contemplating a new, higher salary was, "Oh boy! How much money can I save?" instead of "Oh boy! We can go back to eating at Olive Garden every week!" More money is an opportunity to save, not an opportunity to spend.